Dear Guardian: That was a very silly article you did on Bugarach (and no, there’s no Mayan prophecy)

From time to time, even a respected press outlet gets in on the 2012-en-of-the-world bandwagon. This time, it’s Britain’s The Guardian, with the breathless title: « Bugarach: the French village destined to survive the Mayan apocalypse ».

Article by Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian’s Paris correspondant

The content of the article is quite disingenuous, with statements like:

« According to a prophecy/internet rumour, which no one has ever quite got to the bottom of, an ancient Mayan calendar has predicted the end of the world will happen on the night of 21 December 2012, and only one place on earth will be saved: the sleepy village of Bugarach. »

Actually, we know quite well what’s going on. There’s even a whole Wikipedia webpage devoted to « The 2012 phenomenon », with discussion of the ancient Mayan calendar (no, NOT a prophecy) which was wrongly interpreted as showing an « end » to their time counting… just like our yearly calendars end on the 31st December, only to start again on January 1st of the year after that!

There’s also a Wikipedia page for Bugarach, with a mention of the cult settlements who gave rise to some serious concern here in France… but Ms Chrisafis’s article doesn’t tell us much more than what is already on the free encyclopedia, or in the various articles it links to.

As for the people of Bugarach, they have good reasons to be a bit wary of their celebrity among occultists, New Agers… and the world’s media. The Guardian‘s article acknowledges this, with what looks like unintentional humour (or perhaps is it faint sneer?):

« The oddity is that tourist bookings this year seem to be down slightly, not up. The usual walkers, eco-tourists and people coming for spiritual retreats seemed put off by news crews doing lives-to-camera on armageddon. »

Odd, indeed, to avoid a media circus when you just are looking for a place to enjoy nature in peace, far from the madding crowd…

Must be something special with the French, whom our dear British neighbours love to look down on, and scrutinize as if they were from another species.

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